Waruiru Mburu is a PhD Candidate at the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health. Under the mentorship of Beth Virnig and Shalini Kulasingam with the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health, Mburu is implementing a project entitled, "Epidemiology of Breast Cancer in Ghana," at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana. She is part of the Northern Pacific Global Health Research Fogarty Fellows cohort, with funding from the CGHSR Scholars program.
"More than 50% of breast cancer patients in Ghana are diagnosed with advanced metastatic disease. It is generally thought that the high prevalence of metastatic cases in Ghana is due to delays in seeking and accessing care. Breast cancer patients in Ghana experience long delays between symptom detection, breast cancer diagnosis, and receipt of treatment. My first study is examining how Ghanaian women navigate the healthcare system and factors that influence their decisions and ability to seek breast cancer care. For the study, I will interview women diagnosed with breast cancer and currently receiving treatment at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), which is the second largest hospital in Ghana.
Breast cancer patients in Ghana tend to be younger than patients in other parts of the world such as United States. Worldwide, breast cancer in younger patients tends to be more aggressive with rapid progression and higher mortality rates compared to older women. For my second study, I am using the Kumasi Cancer registry to assess factors that may explain the younger age at diagnosis among Ghanaian breast cancer patients."
Mburu, Waruiru et al. (2021). Pathways to Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment Among Women in Ghana: A Qualitative Study. Women's Health Reports 2(1). DOI: 10.1089/whr.2020.0117
CGHSR Scholars Program
Discover more about our Scholars Program that provides hands-on training at international research sites to University of Minnesota students through a guided mentorship program.